I often find it ironic when parents insist on keeping up the appearance of Santa Claus for the reason of “keeping a sense of magic alive” in the kids. What happens to their sense of magic when they realize it was all a farce? There’s so much real magic in the world, why do we ultimately end up teaching children that magic is made up?
Which gets to a conversation I was having with a friend the other day, starting out with the question “What is magic, to you?”
To me, magic is the life force that connects all of us. It is within ourselves and all of life. And when we can sense into this unifying force between all that is, we can see the humble role we play as a co-creator of our lives, and of reality.
How do we attune to this life force, this web of life, within and around us? Eckhart Tolle teaches a meditation to increase our awareness of our inner energy field, which is a great way to tune into the life force within us. Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and feeling the sensations of your breathing. You may start with bringing your attention to one hand, feeling your hand from the inside. Can you feel a subtle sense of aliveness in your hand? You may feel it as vibration, tingling, buzzing, warmth, or coolness. After a few moments, switch your attention to your other hand, then to your feet, your legs, your arms, your chest, your head and face, and eventually your whole body. Sense if you can, after a while, feel the aliveness in every cell of your body, and the space between the cells.
This inner energy field is said to be the bridge between form and formlessness – it is always there, even when you’re not noticing it. Aliveness is always there and can be attuned to, simply by bringing attention to it. (It’s particularly easy to powerfully feel during an acupuncture session!)
Our body is always available to us to feel its aliveness. And while aliveness is always all around us as well, I find that the summer is a particularly easy time to sense into the life force around us – there is so much of it bursting forth! The myriad flowers, birds, leaves; my own olfactory association of summer in Oakland is the smell of jasmine. When you take a few moments to experience it and take it in – you can only be awed by a sense of magic.
One great practice to get in touch with magic, with life force, is to go to a place in nature. Find a comfortable spot to practice the above meditation of feeling your inner energy field. Keeping this sense of the subtle aliveness within your body, open your eyes, and sense into the aliveness of everything around you, without labeling anything. Can you feel the aliveness, within you and around you, sense the web that connects all of life?
Whether or not you relate to the word “magic,” I do hope that you will take many moments this summer – perhaps even for a short time every day – to tune in to the aliveness and beauty of the ordinary things you come across daily. Wishing you a summer of ordinary joy and wonder, of loving this precious Earth that brings forth all of life.
Photo Credit: “Drops of Jupiter” by tamaralvarez – https://flic.kr/p/8onvtQ